Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security and Adaptation Options for Smallholder Farmers in Malawi


  • Ben Busizori Twinomugisha
  • Reguli Baltazar Mushy


Climate Change; Food Security; Adaptation; Smallholder Farmers; Community Perceptions; Indigenous Knowledge.


This article is based on the study that assessed the impact of climate change on food security and adaptation strategies among smallholder farmers in Salima district, Malawi. The research design deployed literature review and case study survey. A mixed approach of both qualitative and quantitative research methods was used for data collection and analysis. Findings revealed a felt slight increase in temperature. Rainfall seasonality changes (inter annual and intra variation) are suspected to lead to more frequent and intensified droughts and floods that affect four pillars of food security i.e., food availability, access, utilization and stability. Perceived climate change risks are based on smallholder farmers’ experience and knowledge of their local farming. Majority of smallholder farmers in the study areas depend on subsistence farming that is rainfed and vulnerable to seasonality changes. Farmers are taking adaptation measures to ensure food security that includes indigenous knowledge based on past experiences and adoption of climate smart modern technologies. Adaptation limiting factors include limited livelihoods-based capitals, knowledge and skills of climate smart agriculture. There is need for reforming agriculture extension services provided by government through formal integration of climate smart agriculture in policy linkages to smallholder farmers.

Author Biographies

Ben Busizori Twinomugisha

UNDP Country Office, Malawi

Reguli Baltazar Mushy

The Open University of Tanzania


2021-05-11 — Updated on 2021-05-19